Moi's Minister Recounts How Blunder Led to His Firing Via News Bulletin

  • Former President Daniel Moi holding his baton
    Former President Daniel Moi holding his baton.
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  • Former Transport Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno who served during President Daniel Moi's era recounted how a misunderstanding led to his firing.

    While appearing on JKLive on Wednesday, September 28, the former Minister noted that he was informed of his sacking via a one o'clock news bulletin.

    He explained that he had made a statement that was misinterpreted by some individuals who later played a huge role in the committee that recommended for his sacking.

    "I was once fired at One O'clock. In my case, it turned out the error came to be noticed and it was regretted that (they) fired Dalmas wrongly.

    Daniel Moi era Minister Dalmas Otieno
    former Transport Minister in the Daniel Moi era, Dalmas Otieno.
    Capital Group

    "Somebody misinterpreted the meaning of what I had said in a particular place and when it was looked at again, they saw it wasn't accurate but I was fired and there was no other chance. I was in Transport," he explained.

    After his firing, there was a public outcry demanding explanation over reasons that led to the Minister's firing that compelled the team to relook into his dismissal.

    Since the damage was already done, Otieno was re-appointed to chair the Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group (IPPG) Committee on Legal and Constitution Reforms.

    "Once you go, the public reaction follows after the firing. The people who contributed to the decision started analysing the process through which they arrived at that decision and they found that they were not right.

    "I ended up being the Chairman of the Committee that helped our Government in 1997 on issues which nobody else would have done," he added.

    During the interview, the former Minister also gave a criteria that the then President considered before abruptly kicking out members of his cabinet.

    He noted that the Intelligence service monitored all officials' conduct and created a file for each one of them.

    During their scheduled morning meetings with the Head of State, they would present a file incriminating one of the Ministers depending on the findings of the subject's conduct.

    "Normally, it was based on issues that arise on a day to day basis and you were found offside. When you were found offside, that meant there were technical and political implications of what you did not do right so the President had to take action.

    "Normally, by the time the President is taking action, you have been under evaluation, it just doesn't come from nowhere. The intelligent service monitors each and every day what public servants do - including the President. Every Minister has an intelligence record including what he is doing right and what he is doing wrong," he explained.

    "When something comes out indicating your time should be up, the first thing is the President calls the intelligence service who comes every morning to see the President. He asks for the file and looks at the history, issue on which you have messed and a decision is made," Otieno added.

    He served as the Transport Minister 1991 and 1996 while holding a position in the Parliamentary Public Investment Committee.

    He first joined public service in 1988 after his election as Rongo MP and retained the seat until 2017. 

    He served as Minister for Industrialisation from 1988 to 1991, Minister for Manpower Planning and Employment (1991), Minister for Transport & Communications (1991-1996), and Minister for Public Service from 2008 to 2013.

    An image of former CabinetMinister Dalmas Otieno
    An image of former Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno
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